Rev. Paul James Lewis, founder of two churches

December 20, 2008|By Frederick N. Rasmussen

The Rev. Paul James Lewis, a retired stationary engineer and founder of two churches, died of colon cancer Dec. 10 at a daughter-in-law's Northeast Baltimore home. He was 80.

Born and raised in Orlando, Fla., Mr. Lewis, the son of sharecroppers, was educated in Orlando and Kissimmee, Fla., public schools.

In the late 1940s, he moved to Philadelphia with his family.

Mr. Lewis enlisted in the Army and served as an infantryman with the 45th Division in Korea. His decorations, family members said, included three Bronze Stars and the Korean Service Ribbon.

After being discharged from the Army, he attended commercial art school and worked as an artist for a Baltimore advertising agency.

He later attended night school, where he earned a stationary engineer's license, and worked as a Baltimore public schools' chief engineer and supervisor for a decade before retiring in 1977.

Mr. Lewis took divinity courses at Carver Bible Institute in Atlanta, and Carolina Christian College. He was ordained in the Berean Church in Baltimore in 1973.

At his death, he was a member and elder emeritus of Loch Hills Ekklesia Christian Church. Earlier, he founded Berean Bible Chapel at Orleans and Castle streets, and Christian Fellowship Church at Montford Avenue and Fayette Street. He served as pastor at those two churches.

Mr. Lewis had also been an instructor at the Baltimore School of the Bible and had a weekly radio program, What Saith the Scriptures?

Services were held Wednesday for Mr. Lewis, who lived on East 32nd Street.

Surviving are his wife of 15 years, the former Gertrude Alston Beauford; two stepsons, Robert Beauford and Daniel Beauford, both of Baltimore; two stepdaughters, Pamela Powell and Cheryl Tucker, both of Baltimore; two brothers, Robert Lewis of Orlando and Edmond Lewis of Clayton, Ala.; and two sisters, Elizabeth Murrell of Columbus, Ga., and Diane Smothers of New York City. He was previously married for many years to the former Emma Brooks; she died several years ago.

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